Where is spring?

The group crowded around the debating table Saturday morning at the Bakery in Drizzle Creek was in an ugly mood.
The dusting of snow that greeted them on the morning of May 2 was enough to depress the most optimistic as cabin fever once again reared its ugly head.
“If it doesn’t warm up pretty soon, the potato crop could fail and we’ll all starve,” opined Moose, who had just returned from his annual turkey trot along the banks of the Missouri River.
“Did you bring back a turkey or did you get skunked again?” asked Pickle, looking desperately for some evidence that Moose actually possessed some hunting prowess.
“And I don’t mean one of those cryovaced birds from the supermarket,” he added as he looked for his order of toast.
Moose ignored him as usual.
Just then, Spiker staggered in the door and pulled another chair up to the table. Smoke was gently wafting from charred spots on his jacket and a pickled scent filled the air. A number of holes were evident in his jeans, and a few splotches on his face telegraphed a recent disaster.
“Whatever happened to you?” managed Pieter Pychuk, injecting a sense of concern into the air of depression.
“Battery blew up,” offered Spiker as he slapped at the remaining smouldering spots on his jacket and massaged his face to ease the burnt splotches.
“Battery on the bike was dead, so I switched out the one from the snowmachine and it was dead, too,” he noted. “Then I ripped one out of the four-wheeler. It was dead, as well.
“So was the lawnmower and the trolling motor,” added Spiker as heads nodded all round the table at the rationale of switching out every battery on every piece of rolling stock on the estate before taking the plunge and buying a new one.
“So I gave ’er a boost with the charger and I cranked the voltage up good. Kerblam! Took the windshield out of the wife’s car and crippled that stray dog, but no serious damage,” Spiker continued as he ordered up a substantial breakfast.
“So how’d you get down here?” wondered Herman as he craned his head to take in Spiker’s bike parked at the curb.
“Pulled the battery out of the motor home,” replied Spiker as he tucked into a jelly doughnut just to prime his appetite for the breakfast on order.
(Full breakfasts, I must point out, are only available at the Bakery on Saturdays. Our weekly collective cholesterol quota is filled at one sitting).
“A motorhome battery won’t fit into that hog,” snorted Pychuk as he raised his knife and fork in preparation for the delivery of his breakfast platter.
“Strapped in on the back seat with a bungie cord and some duct tape. It’ll do until I find one on sale,” retorted Spiker, ever conscious of the need to innovate and economize.
Silence settled over the table as platters were delivered and the serious business of eating only was interrupted with requests for more coffee, ketchup, pepper, and the group’s favourite spice: salt.
An hour later, the gathering had finished discussing the merits of every battery ever produced and individual tallies of batteries exploded. The lowest score was seven. Finally, the congregation arose in unison with last-minute ride assignments completed.
Ride assignments? For a battery-buying expedition? No. This was the day of the annual gun show in Bailiwick. There were firearms to swap and more lies to be told.
Preparation time for hunting season is running short. After all, there will be no time to do it once the fishing season commences.
As lawnmowers and boats are fired up over the next two weeks, there also should be a strong market for replacement batteries, burn ointment, and new windows.

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